43. How Empathy Makes You a Better Negotiator with Lawyer Nada Jarnaz

Nada Jarnaz

Partner at Howard Kennedy Law Firm

A Champion for Diversity & Inclusion

Nada Jarnaz is a partner at London law firm, Howard Kennedy, where her areas of expertise are banking, finance and real estate. Nada is also a specialist in Islamic Finance and a champion for diversity and inclusion in the workplace, and in all aspects of life. She shows how we can all lend our support to those who need it. We talk style too. Plus, what lies at the heart of any negotiation? Any guesses?

Nada’s Links


  • The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho. “I always go back to that book and feel resonance. It’s a quick read. It’s a story about reminding you to connect with yourself”.
  • SelfridgesΒ “For the times they’ve been open during lockdown, they’ve just been so great. Every day they changed something up. There’s always something new in the store. It’s like a different kind of museum. It’s full of beautiful things and so much variety, so many different cultures and nationalities represented. And it’s the BEST customer service”.

Create A Progressive Work Environment

Businesses like Nada’s law firm, Howard Kennedy, are leading the way towards a more enlightened work environment and future.

Ever heard of Mental Health First Aiders? This is a great place to start when it comes to boosting workplace wellness. “If a person is suffering with mental health issues, whether it’s depression or anxiety, it’s a very difficult for them in that position to reach out for help. Everyone knows who across the firm is a Mental Health First Aider. So if someone is really struggling, they can at least reach out for help. And it’s not that I help people with mental health, but that I can be there as a signpost to help them to get help for themselves”.

You, too, can train to be a Mental Health First Aider.

Your work life is your life. You spend 80% of your life in your work. So if it can be more integrative and synergistic with what’s actually happening in your outside life, it’s going to make that experience better for everybody.

Nada Jarnaz

Be An Advocate + Happy Pride 🌈

We can all be champions.

We can all shine a spotlight on LGBTQ+ issues. As with the Black Lives Matter movement, we can all be advocates for the change we want to see in the world. It’s part of creating an environment of inclusivity. As Nada says:

“If you are in a position where you’re better placed to be the advocate, then why not be the advocate for the other person? We don’t only have to advocate for ourselves. We all are in a position to advocate for others”.

The shadows feel safe in a way. It’s safe to hide. It’s safe because no one can attack you, but you’re also not able to be yourself. If you don’t have the freedom to be yourself, that’s not a full life and that’s not fair. It should be your human right to be able to live a full life. And so, creating safety in the light and allowing people to step out of the shadows into the light is really the thing that is going to move the needle.

Nada Jarnaz

Be a Better Negotiator

Here are some of Nada’s top tips:

  1. Keep your ego in check.
  2. Check your counterpart’s ego.
  3. Really concentrate on your objectives: the long-term play & what really is going to move the needle on you achieving your business goals.
  4. The most expensive commodity is time.
  5. Empathy is the key to everything.

Listen to the full episode for more tips, and to hear how businesses should view maternity/paternity leave as a long-term investment & opportunity to develop exceptional negotiators.

The most expensive commodity is time. Time is the one thing that you cannot get back. It’s the one thing that if you save it, you’re actually multiplying your revenue. Extra dollars versus time. When you’re in your zone of genius and your business flying and you’re really in a position of growth, time is a thing that you don’t want to be wasting. It’s a thing that you want to save.

Nada Jarnaz

Style Notes

How fabulous is Nada’s statement dress & handbag in honour of Pride! (see below) We’re talking pink and rainbow perfection. 🌈

Listen to the full episode to hear how the pandemic (and all those Zoom calls) inspired Nada to embrace colour instead of her go-to black and navy. Because, yes, dark colours tend to make you look dull and drained on online meetings. And that’s not the look we’re going for, right? We can all be colourful and fabulous!